More than 4,000 former Georgia high school football players were on college football rosters this season, and 30 have one more game – the national championship between Alabama and Clemson.
That is according to Steve Slay, a Georgia high school football fan and researcher who has done the tedious compilation for the past several years. With a final tally of 4,035, this is the first time that his numbers have topped 4,000. His 2015 season count was 3,996.
The high school with the most players on college rosters is McEachern with 54 (see list of every Georgia high school below).
Others with high numbers are Stephenson (48), Buford (44), Sandy Creek (44), Peachtree Ridge (40), Grayson (39), Hillgrove (39), Norcross (38), Tucker (37), Brookwood (35), Colquitt County (33), North Gwinett (33), Mays (31), Milton (31), Collins Hill (30), M.L. King (30) and Arabia Mountain (30).
The region with the most players is 6-AAAAAAA, made up entirely of Gwinnett County schools, led by Peachtree Ridge. Second is 4-AAAAAA, a region of DeKalb and Clayton schools led by Stephenson.
In the national championship game, as many as six Georgia players are expected to start. They are place-kicker Adam Grifffith of Calhoun and defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson of Henry County for Alabama and quarterback Deshaun Watson of Gainesville, defensive back Ryan Carter of Grayson, running back Wayne Gallman of Grayson and tackle Mitch Hyatt (pictured) of North Gwinnett for Clemson.
Slay's list does not could include Alabama All-America linebacker Reuben Foster, a former Class AAA defensive player of the year from Troup High in west Georgia. Foster finished up at Auburn High in Alabama, and Slay places players with the schools listed on team rosters.
Six former Georgia players made All-America teams this season. They were Clemson’s Watson, Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram of Hillgrove, Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan of Liberty County, Auburn defensive linemen Carl Lawson of Milton and Montravius Adams of Auburn and Syracuse wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo of McEachern.
Watson, a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, was named Sunday the winner of the 2016 Bobby Bowden Award. The honor is presented each year to the college football player who most epitomizes a student-athlete.
Slay's work entails searching rosters of every college team in the country at all levels, including junior colleges. There were 268 former Georgia players in the SEC this season, 211 in the ACC.
It includes walk-ons. For examples, Georgia has 94 former Georgia high school players on its 2016 roster, and Georgia Tech has 76, but about at least a quarter of them are walk-ons.
It is unknown how Georgia stacks up nationally in terms of players on college rosters, as this research is not done in each state.